WOQ: USA Olympic Hopes End with 4-0 loss to Korea |
March 29, 2004
|US Field Hockey
US Field Hockey Association
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand ? The USA field hockey team?s Olympic dream ended abruptly as Korea knocked the U.S. from the Athens field, 4-0, at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
?Korea outplayed us, it?s basically that simple. They played extremely well,? said USA coach Beth Anders. ?As far as Olympic dreams are concerned, there are a lot of dreams shattered today. And that?s not going to be easy.?
Korea took advantage of a fast start with two penalty corner goals by Yun Mi Kim and Mi Seong Lee in a span of three minutes to take a 2-0 lead midway into the first half. Mi Hyun added a field goal at the 29-minute mark to give Korea a 3-0 halftime lead.
But the U.S. had its chances. A first half penalty corner narrowly missed and April Fronzoni?s diving attempt couldn?t reach deflecting in a Kate Barber shot late in the half. The USA increased its opportunities in the second half, but a Barber blast at the goal went wide left and Kristen McCann?s reverse stick chip was saved by Korea keeper Yong Sook Park.
I thought we had opportunities,? said Anders. ?We had the ball. We just weren?t able to keep the ball and capitalize on those opportunities.?
Korea earned its final goal off Seong Eun Kim?s fast break counter attack with 14 minutes left in the game.
Korea joins Japan, Spain, New Zealand and Germany in teams securing Olympic spots from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The five teams will join continental qualifiers Argentina, Australia, China, The Netherlands and South Africa in Athens.
With the loss, the USA finishes sixth in the tournament while Korea earns fifth place. The tournament concludes tomorrow with Japan and Spain playing for the tournament championship and Germany and New Zealand competing for third place. In the day?s early games, Russia defeated Ukraine, 2-0, for 9th place , and Great Britain topped Ireland, 4-1, for 7th place.
For USA veterans Tracey Fuchs, Katie Beach, Tara Jelley, Tracey Larson and goalkeeper Peggy Storrar, it was the second straight Olympic Qualifier that saw the team narrowly miss a spot in the Olympic Games with a loss in the final 5th/6th place match. The USA lost to China, 2-0, in 2000.
?I?m proud of these girls, they had a good tournament,? said Anders. ?They have no reason to put their heads down. I?m proud of them. But it?s hard. There?s nothing you can say to anyone right now. It hurts. And it?s going to hurt.?
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